I understand your apprehension in giving your Social Security number. This is what the Social Security Administration has to say on the subject:
Giving Your Number To Others
If a business or other enterprise asks you for your Social Security number, you can refuse to give it to them. However, that may mean doing without the purchase or service for which your number was requested. For example, utility companies and other services ask for your Social Security number, but do not need it; they can do a credit check or identify their customers by alternative means.
Giving your number is voluntary even when you are asked for the number directly.
If requested, you should ask:
why your number is needed;
how your number will be used;
what happens if you refuse; and
what law requires you to give your number.
The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours.
Our primary message is this--be careful with your Social Security number and your card to prevent their misuse.
If you think someone is misusing your number, ask us for the leaflet, When Someone Misuses Your Number (Publication No. 05-10064).
Privacy Of Records
We can't prevent others from asking for your number. And we can't control what uses are made of your number once you give it to someone. However, you should know that giving it to them does not give them access to your Social Security records. The privacy of your records is guaranteed unless:
We are required by law to disclose information to another government agency.
The information is needed to conduct Social Security or other government health or welfare programs.
For complete information, visit the Social Security Site at the following address: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10002.html